Location: Florida Keys and Everglades
The Florida Keys make up 180-miles of land and sea, which makes for a very large fishing area. Most anglers we’ve talked to stick to one or two islands, most commonly those closest to their homes or their launch spots. But the fishing remains the same, with tarpon and Snook darting between backcountry waters and sandy shores.
Although Capt. Josh fly fishes in Idaho during the hot, muggy summer months, he doesn’t miss out on the action when he’s guiding throughout the winter – more specifically, October through July.
Launching out of Founders Park located on Islamorada, Capt. Josh is known for being a stealthy backcountry and everglades guide and it’s in these areas that he primarily uses Hogy Lure products. Some of our bigger lures, like the Hogy Original, stand out in the darker, stained water of the everglades and the Snook respond well to them.
Tides: Snook love moving water, making an incoming or outgoing tide the best, especially when accompanied with structure.
Approach: Similar to striped bass, Snook are ambush predators, meaning they are lazy and don’t like to work hard for their food. Instead, they like to hide and wait for something to swim past them and when the moment is right, they attack. Capt. Josh often fishes the banks, either with a trolling motor or with a push poll. He will either have his clients cast out at the bank – which is the most common – or he will set up a drift on the tide, cutting the motor and casting along at structure while the tide carries him.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 7-inch Hogy Original
Why This Bait? Snook like bigger baits. For Capt. Josh personally, the Hogy Original is his starting bait.
“If they’re not eating that in the spots that I go to, they’re not eating at all.”
Colors: White and Black
Retrieve: Most of the time, blind casting in areas that are normally populated with Snook is the way to go. But sometimes, on sunny days with clear water, sight casting is possible. For the most part, Capt. Josh will have his clients cast out along the bank. If the water is deep, let the lure sink to the bottom and then jig it up slowly before retrieving it at a slow, steady pace. If it’s shallow, start jigging as soon as the lure hits the water. Sometimes the Snook will hit on the drop (in deeper water) and sometimes they will hit on the retrieve (in shallow and deep water).
Similarly to striped bass, they will eat anything. If they’re going to eat, they’re going to attack. It doesn’t matter where it is in the water column. The only thing they don’t like is a fast retrieve.
Rod: G-Loomis Pro-Green 7’4 Spinning Rod, fast action, medium/heavy
Reel: Shimano SA4000FG Sustain FG Spinning Reel
Line: 20-30lb PowerPro Braid
Leader: 40lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon